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I'm just another guy with opinions. Feel free to agree or disagree.
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The Blur
7:59 AM on 12.09.2008

What pictures?

So one of the reasons why so many pictures have been blurry is because I'm not using flash. the reason for this is that its easier to just keep a no flash setting on, so that I don't make the people in the companies I was visiting feel weird having flashes constantly going off around them. that and in the trains, or whilst looking at art flash is definitely considered rude. As a result, I have no realistic way of telling how long my battery will last. Long story short, I took way too few pictures and my battery died. Bad news for you guys it that the text will be longer today.
(to make up for it, enjoy the link to the epic 200-something picture album from yesterday)

GO!!!

So today began out as a relax day...which means I slept til like 10 AM. After shooting the breeze online for a while me and my roommate headed out to the local electronic store to pick up DSi's. Then came the massive headcrab Calzonne breakfast followed by a bus ride to some little place where we did our Kimono dancing.









(They told me it was a manly fan because it has Ogres on it)



Then we went to a group shabu shabu dinner. It was basically a pot of boiling water that you throw whatever tofu/vegetables you want into it. Then you pick up these thin slices of meet and slosh it around inside until they're at your preferred cooking limit.





Well that was the uneventful day. Tomorrow is my last FULL day in Japan before I hop on a plane and time travel back to Chicago. To make up for the lack of events today- tommorow is going to be absolutely silly. I decided to organize a minitrip for the free day and head with a few of us to Osaka. We're gonna get up early and catch the express train out of the Kyoto station (3 min walk away) and head to the Pokemon Center, Jump Shop, then make our way to the epic-ness that is Den-Den town (or so I've heard). Expect to see all that is nerdy tommorow.







The Blur
6:38 AM on 12.08.2008

Not Godzilla attack

So I lied to you guys- No kimono's or Japanese Dance, but I did go to the golden palace and a bunch of other really ancient cool places



Yeah, today we took off slightly early to go tour 3 places. First up was this really cool (yet oddly touristy) temple (yes I'm fully aware that I sound like an ignorant foreigner, but we're flying around places and don't have too much time to appreciate the history). There was a group of lame British School kids with blue ponchos that I avoided like the plague.















Then we went to this place with hundreds of statue buddahs. they didn't let us take pics of the statues but the outside was fair game. It was magnificent.















Next up was the epic golden palace.













Last up was the This place where they film old samurai flicks.

















And as a goodbye, I present you the MEGA MAC!!!










The Blur
8:04 AM on 12.07.2008

Drums

Today was a long day simply because of the extra early wake up and the large amounts of walking/train riding.





So we ended up almost being late because two of the kids on the trip didn't wake up until we were all downstairs waiting for them. The bullet train was REALLY cool- it was about an hour and 45 the entire ride from Tokyo to Kyoto.









Once we got here we took a few trains to...honestly I don't know where. All I know is that we ended up in some elementary school watching kids do Taiko drums. Then they let us have a go and we tried to play the things- it was pretty cool.







Afterward it was just discovering the hotel and eating.








(Moe Jong....sooooo bad)


(Kyto Tower, not to be confused with Tokyo tower)

For some reason I got a hardcore craving for some Burger King. Tommorow's plan is to go sightseeing, have a kimono wearing party where we learn Japanese dance, and hopefully burger king finding. Arigato Gozaimasu







The Blur
7:15 AM on 12.06.2008

I can has hairdo.



Today I woke up and took a visit to one of the 2 Tokyo Jump Shops (Weekly Shonen Jump official shop). Got a few pics of interesting shops in that subway mall.



















Afterward I went to Harijuku to get a haircut (spend lots of money in one place as opposed to several). I think it came out pretty cool.











Yeah that's it...I'm tired and need sleep for the early bullet train to Kyoto tommorow. Thanks for reading.







The Blur
9:51 AM on 12.05.2008

When it rains it pours



So today was interesting. My picture taking has taken a huge hit. One reason is because I'm not allowed to take pictures inside of awesome studios, but another is because we're walking everywhere and so far walking and taking pictures has resulted in lots of shaky cam. That and its kind of bogus to stop in the middle of a crowded subway or street to take a picture of something they see everyday.



Like I said yesterday- today was really all about Namco- Bandai. It was really cool to turn a corner and see a huge building with the logo on it. Walking inside was particularly gnarly because of the awesome waterfall/rock structure. They did a great job of displaying their games (Submariner, Ridge Racer 2, Pacman, etc.) and had a really nice looking lobby.








(A TV crew showed up and filmed this like 5 year old kid completely own at the giant drum game)







We were lead into a room and watched trailers for all sorts of games (both out and in production). They showed Soul Caliubur 4, Tekken 6, Tales of Vesperia, Idolmaster (lol), Innocent Aces, and some other JRPG that looked REALLY good but I can't remember. Then we took a tour of the really cool Sound studio, and took some company cars out to their Mocap studio like 5 min away. When we got into the mocap studio(no pics allowed of each), it began to pour outside and you could just hear it through the cieling. We sat there asking questions to our tour guides and watching pro actors motion capture a scene for a good while- it was really fun.

Afterward we went back to the "fun room" (I forgot to take a pic of the sign, I'll try to jack my friends and post it) and had a QA with one of the heads of the production team and the producer of Ace Combat (4-6 if I recall). They were really cool guys.

That's about it for today. Tomorrow I'm gonna visit the Shonen Jump Store, Harijuku (and finally get the Japanese haircut I've been trying to schedule in all trip), Shibuya, and hopefully the Pokemon Center.

I leave to Kyoto Sun morn, so expect to be seeing pictures of tea ceremonies, gardens, and castles in the future. G'day, thanks for reading.

E- Day 6 not 7, also- As prommised Cortana Shirt.

Photo







The Blur
9:35 AM on 12.04.2008

I'm starting to loose it.

Seriously, I'm a lazy kid, I usually sleep between 11PM and 3 AM and wake up between 10AM and 1 PM. Here on this trip, I'm sleeping at like 11-2 and waking up between 8 and 9. At first I was fine, but its starting to catch up and i'm getting exhausted. So if you come to Japan- while it is important to have plans and things to do- DON'T FORGET TO SLEEP!



So today the plan was to make 2 stops- The Miyazaki Museum and Xbox Japan.

I'm going to go ahead and admit that I do appreciate the work of Miyazaki, but I've never sat through more than 10 min of any one of his animations. I respect the work, it just can't hook me. We weren't allowed to take any pictures inside, but they had a mini Lourve (aka fancy french museum) and a giant Cat Bus for kids to climb around in- it was pretty cool.










(you can't really tell, but that lady is pushing around a bunch of kids like in a giant cage-ish thing)

Next we took a visit to Xbox Japan. They had a really cool place and set up a few powerpoints. We got the see the last E3 presentation for Lost Oddesy presented by the director, only instead of it being formal we were free to ask him about anything. Turns out he was very discontent with UT3, and his team requested to make their own engine which they finished and currently work in.






(apparently Resident Evil is called BioHazard in Japan)



We also had a presentation from a girl in PR and she had us do an exercise to create a marketing strategy for Halo Wars, both domestically in japan and worldwide. Due to the popularity of the Tommy Lee Jones Boss Cofee commercials, my group decided to make a series of cartoons and merch regarding TLJ and Master Chief. The lady voted ours as the best and we got a swanky Japanese Halo 3 shit (I'll put up a pic tommorow)

The rest of the day was pretty lazy. About the only highlight was eating really good mexican food (being a mexican born american, its important for me to judge how every country I visit handles the food).




(A for spelling it right)


(Translation- What is Mexico?)


(Enchilada, Taco, and giant Tostada. Conclusion- it was fairly well done, I'm impressed)


(prof Josh Jones trying to have his Margarita with Chopstick straws)

Yeah, I'm burnt out....Japan is exciting but the lack of sleep is catching up. Good news for you guys is that tomorrow is my last official company visit (Namco Baindai), so I'm probably going to be posting more about culture and interesting things. See ya tomorrow- Thanks for reading, I appreciate actually having a reader base (even if it is only like 9 people).